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Fraud attempts expected to rise this holiday season

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Consumers and merchants aren’t the only ones preparing for the busiest shopping season of the year.

Fraud attempts are projected to increase by 14% during the holiday season, which spans Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, according to new data from ACI Worldwide, a provider of electronic payment and banking solutions.

According to the study, the volume of purchases is expected to increase by 18%, while the value of purchases is expected to increase by 19% between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday, compared to the same period last year.

Similarly, the value of fraud attempts is expected to increase by 17% between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, compared to the same period in 2017. The attempted fraud average ticket price, or a merchant’s average size of individual sales by credit card, is expected to increase 3% from $236 to $243.

When looking at specific shopping days, the volume of transactions on Thanksgiving Day is expected to increase 23% in 2018, compared to 2017. Volume of fraud attempts on Thanksgiving Day is expected to be high at 1.80%.

On Black Friday, volume of transactions is expected to increase 19% compared to 2017. Volume of fraud attempts on Black Friday is expected to be 1.30%.

On Cyber Monday, volume of transactions is expected to increase 14% compared to last year, and volume of fraud attempts is expected to be 0.93%.

Cross-channel fraud also continues to grow. In addition to traditional online channels, buy online, pick up in-store and call centers will be areas of focus for fraudsters, the study said.

“The first step to fighting fraud is knowing what you’re up against,” said Erika Dietrich, global director, Payments Risk, ACI Worldwide.

“Fraudsters prepare for peak holiday season just as much as merchants and consumers do,” she added. “Fraudsters will keep an eye on items that have limited inventory as it gives them an additional opportunity to steal and sell those items on the black market for a higher price so consumers and merchants alike must be vigilant in such cases.”

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